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Monday, May 1, 2017

Becoming My Own Boss-My Story


8 years ago, I began my small Senior Caregiving Business without a Website-A Business Card-or Marketing Tools!

Even after 8 years,

Guess what?

I STILL did not need or use business cards, a website, or any other marketing tools to begin or grow my business!

I eventually had some beautiful business cards made, but they were not as effective as my free marketers......

       Patients/Clients and their Family! 

 As I wrote in my last post, When Is The Right Time To Start A Business? My Clients referred me without me even asking them to:

                              My Story

As a Certified Nursing Assistant, I was always either working double shifts, or 2 jobs to make ends meet.

 I finally found some relief in working for Nursing and Senior Caregiving Agencies, which gave me a little more money, and definitely more flexibility.

But the very first Agency that I worked for, would always get upset, if I declined a Senior Care assignment.

I already had a permanent Senior Client that I was assigned to, in which I worked 12 hours, for 3 days in a row.

One of the advantages of a Caregiving and Nursing Agency, is that you work based upon your availability- So in my eyes, my work week was done!

(Although I did agree to work extras from time to time!)

 Being that it was an Agency where you had the option of accepting or declining a Care assignment, I became very annoyed at that particular job, for making me feel as if I HAVE to accept all of these extra Senior Care assignments.

Upon declining assignments, they would always ask me what it is that I had to do. When I began to tell them, they would say," Oh that's not gonna take THAT long," or "Come on, your not REALLY doing anything Tiffany!"

 I never liked the feeling of a job acting as if they had control over me.....and I never liked the feeling of not being appreciated and respected for the work that I do....

So I left Senior Care, and began working in Customer Service and Collections, enjoying less hours-and receiving awesome commission and bonus checks!

I actually got hired for a higher position than I applied for, and generally liked my managers and work environment.

Sitting in front of the computer on the phone, and negotiating, was heaven to me at the time, compared to being on my feet all day or night!

I stayed in customer services and collections for 3 years!

I really needed a change. I had been in Nursing for 4 years, but it seemed like 10, when I estimated how much overtime and 24 hour shifts that I had put in!

The breakthrough came when I received a call from an Elder Client, whom I had become very close with while working at an Agency.

 She needed more assistance, and was not happy with the Professional Caregivers that the Caregiving Agency was sending her.

I began to assist her and her husband on the weekends, and in my spare time.

 After running a few errands with her one day, she mentioned that her Goddaughter had a friend with Multiple Sclerosis who really needed some help.

My initial response was, " I would LOVE to help, but I can't leave my job to assist him for only a few hours a week".... .."And I am expecting"....

 Day after day, she continued to insist that I go and meet him saying, "Honey, he hasn't got anybody to help, and you just live right around the corner from him!"

I was 7 months pregnant, and she wanted me to go and meet someone else for possible work??

I thought it was quite silly showing up at this gentleman's house, especially after she told me that he needed Physical Therapy type help-LIFTING and STRETCHING!

He's going to take one look at me and say, You've GOT to be kidding me!

 The same Elder Client who continued to call and tell me about this gentleman that needed help, encouraged​ me, and renewed my love for Nursing and Caregiving.

 Because I was pregnant, I reluctantly went to meet up with him. Ironically..., he was the beginning of my full-time business!

"Well, I don't expect for you to help me now or anytime soon because, Uh,.....scratching his head and chuckling, he looked down at my stomach. "Yeah, but Uh, Ms.Hudson DID recommend you!"

Though he joked around a bit, I could see in his eyes, that he wanted and needed help- RIGHT NOW!

I sat down on his couch listening attentively as he explained to me how hard it was for him to find anyone independently, or at a Senior Care Agency that would help- because he really did not need that many days or hours for assistance.

We talked for a long time, and even negotiated as if I was going to be assisting him the very next day!

I left his home feeling a mixture of excitement and sadness at the same time...

I was excited because, Hey! I just may have 2 Clients which can be the start of a new business!

But sad-sensing his disappointment, and knowing that I would not be able to help him right away...

But I have learned, that everything happens at the right time, when it's truly meant to be.

Surprisingly, after I had my 4th child, I was eager to get back to work!

I returned to my customer service and collections job, assisting Mrs.Hudson about once a week, but still unable to help Mr.S right away due to my schedule.

After about 2 months of paying $600.00 in daycare fees, I thought Hmmm..., I should go BACK to Senior Care, so that my hours and days can be more flexible.

Then, I could work nights, and be at home with my baby boy in the daytime!

AAaaand... I could be more available for 2 independent Clients!

Now one great thing about Senior Caregiving Agencies, is that work is usually always abundant!

I got out a pen and paper, and began planning and "plotting".

On my lunch break, I went to a Senior Care Agency, whom a dear friend of mine had been telling me about for quite some time.

I was SUPER late coming back, because they interviewed me right on the spot, but I was determined and motivated to go back to doing what I loved, (thanks to Ms.Hudson) but now on my own terms, so that I can enjoy it more!

I had 3 options. (It's always good to have an A B and C plan. Nowadays, I have D E and F plans!)

A.) Continue to work in customer service and collections and help Ms.Hudson on the side.

B.) Work full time at an Agency.

C.) Start a business with with just 2 Clients who didn't need that many days or hours.

I chose B and C!

It was still a risk when I quit my customer service job, because the Agency did not have any permanent Clients. So I was on call.

I could have very well went to another Senior Care Agency of course, but I was hopeful about this one and chose to wait.

After about a week, the Agency called me in.
Now THIS by far was the best Senior Care Agency that I had ever worked for!

It was quite small, and the owner and all of the ladies that worked there were enthused at all times!

They were ALWAYS happy and pleasant no matter what was going on in the office, crazy or no crazy day, their tone and demeanor never changed!

Plus, they were very respectful when I would politely decline an assignment!

Because they were so professional and respectful, I rarely declined a Senior Care assignment from them.

They really did keep me busy, and I LOVED the assignments-some permanent, some temporary, I was all over the place!

I finally was able to help Mr. S whom to my surprise, after assisting him for just one week says,

"Do you mind if I give a friend of mine and her husband your number? She has Multiple Sclerosis too, and they need help!

After working with her for just a month, SHE says,

"I seen a notice on the bulletin board at my church, and someone is looking for another Senior Caregiver to help their mom. Here, I took down the number for you!

 When I got home, I immediately called the phone number that my Client had given to me.

I met with the family, and assessed the Client, who also had about 4 other Independent Senior Nurse Aides and Professional Caregivers assisting her.

But after caring for her for just 2 weeks, sadly she passed away...

Approximately 1 week later, I received a phone call, "Hi Tiffany, I hope you don't mind me calling you out of the blue like this..."

She went on to explain that she was a family friend of the lady that passed away, and both of HER elderly parents needed daily assistance!

About a year later, I began to help Mr.S mother, AND his neighbor around the corner!

The Client referrals was on!... one Senior Client wanted me to personally assist her, and her business!

I weaned myself off of the Agency serving and enjoying my own Clients independently, and went on to later replace my name, with the business name Extraordinary Care-and now.... Extraordinary Care1.

*This blog post has been republished, and combined with Part 2.

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Welcome To Extraordinary Care1!

Hello! My name is Tiffany Tene' Armstead, and I am the owner, founder, and CEO of Extraordinary Care1-a small, independent, private paying Care Service for Elders, Seniors, and the Disabled.

Whether you are new to Senior Care, or experienced, my goal is for you to have everything that you need, to begin your own mini Senior Care Service, right here on website-with just a CLICK of a button!

Join me as I reinnovate, and transition my offline business, to be 100% online and virtual!

Feel free to Contact Me

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